Area 1, Route 5
Field Staffer: Joyce Fountain
It’s still dark and navigating some of the streets in this Bethesda neighborhood can be tricky. “Mostly, I am just trying to find a parking place”, says Collections Field Staffer, Joyce Fountain. Obviously, she is new to the area – because trying to find parking in this area is a constant. On this windy morning, Ms. Fountain has arrived to conduct a Recycle Bin Survey before she begins her daily task of monitoring the County Collections Contractors.
However, she notices right away that many of the blue carts and bins have been knocked over by the wind and some of their contents have spilled to the ground.
"That’s 'Litter before Collection' ", she sighs. She knows that the contractors responsible for collection in this area will be getting calls from residents claiming that recyclables were left on the street, and that lids and cans were stolen. "Residents don’t understand that sometimes the weather conditions can cause these issues."
Right now, Ms. Fountain must get her blue bin survey completed before the trucks start collecting. “The survey will tell us how effective the County is getting its recycling message out. I check each bin to see if there are only acceptable recyclable materials, is the paper bundled and separate from the glass, metal, and plastic like this one...
Finally, is there is any paper, trash or other unacceptable item in the bins?”, asks Ms. Fountain. In this area, most of the bins are in good shape. The biggest issues are foam containers and plastic bags – when set out curbside, both of these materials are trash.
"Many of the grocery stores in the area do recycle plastic bags.” She has to run ahead of this Potomac Disposal recycling truck to get her last house.
As I run along with her, our last house poses a question:
Do inline skates really belong in the recycle bin?
Answer: no, they are trash. If the skates are still usable, consider selling them online.
For more information on recycling visit our website. Have a cracked blue bin? Call 311 or go online to request a new one!
-- posted by Jessica Fusillo, Collections Field Staff